Clemson Graduate School

Clemson Graduate School

Digital Production Arts

General Information

Degrees Offered

Introduction

The recent advent of dramatic visual effects in film, television, and games has created an unprecedented demand for educational programs leading to careers in the field. To fill this need, the DPA program offers a unique blend of instruction from art, computer science, computer engineering, graphic communications, performing arts, philosophy, and psychology, together with newly designed courses targeted at production techniques specific to the animation effects industry.

The Master of Fine Arts in Digital Production Arts (DPA) at Clemson University is a professional degree program aimed at producing technically savvy, artistically talented graduates who are sought after by the growing electronic arts industry, particularly by those companies engaged in visual effects within the entertainment and commercial video, film, and gaming industries.

About the Program

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Digital Production Arts (DPA) at Clemson University is a professional degree program aimed at producing technically savvy, artistically talented graduates who are sought after by the growing electronic arts industry, particularly by those companies engaged in visual effects within the entertainment and commercial video, film, and gaming industries.Students successfully graduating from DPA will have many abilities through accomplishments in the program, such as:
- Training in and application of artistic skills for storyboarding and character development.
- Familiarity and experience with industry standard 3D packages Maya, Houdini, Nuke and others.
- Training in compositing, 3D modeling, rigging, animation, lighting, simulation, and FX.
- Programming skills in Python, C, and C++.
- Understanding of computer-graphic methods for simulations and experience writing them in C++.
- Experience working in a production environment in which they create an original short film from concept to final edit.
- Experience doing original work leading to a MFA thesis.

For additional information, please email dpa@clemson.edu

Application Requirements

Applying

To be admitted, candidates need a complete Graduate School application, an acceptable GRE composite score, a portfolio, a portfolio critique, sample code, three letters of reference. Non-native English speakers also must submit an acceptable TOEFL score. The portfolio should be submitted to dpa@clemson.edu as a link to a website containing all of your additional materials. Please see http://www.cs.clemson.edu/vcadmin/dpa/admission.html for detailed instructions on how to prepare this material. 

Applicants may apply on the Web at http://www.grad.clemson.edu/admission/. Applications should be received no later than five weeks prior to registration. Every required item in support of the application must be on file by that date.

Required Documents

For additional information, please email dpa@clemson.edu

Financial Aid

To see the proposed Graduate Tuition Rates for this academic year, click here.

The School or Program offers a number of graduate assistantships to students each year based on merit. These are offered in the form of stipends and the additional benefit of tuition remission. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester to qualify for a graduate assistantship and must work a minimum of 10 hours a week as a teaching or research assistant or perform other tasks assigned by the School or Program.

A small number of assistantships are available within the program. Assistantships are generally nine months, but they can be extended through summer. Assistantships are renewable for a second year, but renewal depends upon student progress. Other assistantships may be available in many departments throughout the University

Course of Study

Program of Study

The degree requires 60 credit hours devoted to core courses, electives, both team-based and individual studio work, and a master's thesis. Foundation courses are offered in the fundamentals of computing or visual arts, for students who are not fully prepared either technically or artistically. A maximum of six hours of foundation courses may be counted toward the degree. It is possible to complete the program in 2 years, but it is recommended that students plan on taking from 2-1/2 to 3 years.

Current Program

Facilities

The DPA program facility is designed to closely parallel facilities at major animation and effects studios. Located in the main School of Computing building, McAdams Hall, we have a large multi-purpose studio, a classroom, a screening room, and an auxiliary student workroom. In nearby Barre Hall, we have an additional studio. The multi-purpose studio holds 21 high powered dual-screen workstations, a 14 camera Vicon motion capture system, and a greenscreening area for live action shots. The classroom has seats and computers for 20 students, allowing interactive classroom work and demos. The screening room houses a cinema grade projector and computers, allowing review of work at the resolution, brightness, and contrast experienced in a commercial theater. The workroom houses additional computers, graphics tablets, a scanner, and video editing workstations, and the all important refrigerator and microwave. The Barre Hall studio is used for teaching foundation art classes, providing space for teaching traditional visual foundations of the discipline.

Our Students

Of the program’s 30 students, 77 percent are men, 87 percent attend on a full-time basis, and 23 percent are international students.

Recent graduates have been hired by ILM, EAGames, Pixar, Rhythm & Hues, Tippet Studios, Blue Sky Studios, Square SUA and institutions of higher learning. Graduates have worked on films such as:

  • The Matrix: Revolutions and Reloaded
  • Star Wars: Episode III
  • The Hulk
  • Constantine
  • Robots
  • Minority Report
  • Van Helsing
  • The Incredibles
  • Garfield
  • Scooby Doo 2
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • Final Fantasy
  • Ice Age
  • Hellboy

Administrative Coordinator